SH1 blocked by milk and cheese spill; road toll hits 11

A police car

The summer holiday road toll reached double-digits on Friday 29 December.
Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

State Highway 1 has been blocked north of Kaitāia after a milk delivery truck rolled, while people have died in crashes near Russell, and in Buller District.

State Highway 1 has been blocked north of Kaitāia after a dairy delivery truck rolled, scattering a large quantity of milk, cream and cheese across the road.

The crash occurred about 12.40pm at Waipapakauri, 15km north of Kaitāia.

Kaitāia deputy fire chief Ross Beddows said it was not clear what had caused the truck to roll on a fairly straight section of highway near the junction with West Coast Road.

The truck came to rest on its side, blocking the northbound lane, with the impact splitting the roof open and catapulting dairy products across the highway.

“It’s a hell of a mess. There’s milk, cream and cheese lying around. We’ve saved what we can but it’s a warm day.”

Beddows said it was fortunate the driver suffered only minor injuries.

“So we’re just cleaning up the spilled milk, but no one’s crying. Well, not in our crew anyway.”

Police and St John Ambulance also responded, and traffic was diverted around the crash scene.

Beddows said a large tow truck had been dispatched from Kaitāia to right the delivery truck and allow firefighters to finish washing down the highway.

Holiday road toll creeps higher, with fatalities in Buller and Russell

The summer holiday road toll reached double-digits early on Friday.

Police said one person died after a single-vehicle crash overnight on State Highway 69 at Inangahua, in the Buller District. Motorists were asked to avoid the area.

And one person died at the scene of a single-vehicle crash about 10km east of Russell, and another person from the crash was taken to Whangārei Hospital and remained in a serious condition.

Police said the collision happened shortly after 11.30am on Friday, Russell Whakapara Road was closed between Waikare Road and De Nora Drive, but one lane had reopened. However drivers were asked to avoid the area.

A Hato Hone St John spokeswoman said two ambulances, one rapid response unit and one manager had responded.

And State Highway Three in Waikato was closed after a multi-vehicle crash shortly after 12.30pm on Friday, at Piopio near Waitomo.

Motorists were asked to avoid the area and told to expect delays. Diversions were in place from Aria Road through to Totoro Road.

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